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Re: Intellectual Property

by seattlejohn (Deacon)
on Oct 31, 2002 at 08:23 UTC ( #209363=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Intellectual Property

Reasonable? It all depends how much they are paying you for those rights ;-)

Joking aside, it's probably a good sign that they are willing to consider your concerns. Still, I'm not sure the proposed rewording goes far enough. What if you make a discovery related to a company technology or product that you have no knowledge about? At the very least, I'd be inclined to ask for clarification of that to read something like "company's technology or products which have been publicly disclosed or of which employee has been made aware". (Otherwise: "You didn't know about Project X, which the CEO dreamt up in his sleep two months ago but hasn't told anybody about? Well, your work is related to Project X, so now it belongs to us. Sorry.")

Also, the words "related to" are somewhat vague. Does that mean "competitive with", "interoperable with", "based on similar technology", or what?

Honestly, if you are at all uncomfortable with this, it might be worth your time and money (it won't be that expensive) to ask for advice from an attorney. That doesn't have to become an adversarial thing; you are just trying to make sure that you're understanding and agree with what you sign, and that the company is not doing something that will unreasonably hinder your activities. A lawyer will be in a much better position to tell you whether the contract language is appropriate for your situation and in your jurisdiction and to suggest revisions that will meet the objectives of both you and your employer.

        $perlmonks{seattlejohn} = 'John Clyman';

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: Intellectual Property
by rir (Vicar) on Oct 31, 2002 at 11:59 UTC
    It is an adversarial thing. But that doesn't mean the parties can't be civilized about it.

    See an attorney.

    "Wishing to do something" is not "Doing something", that language may be junk. This contract usually would be interpreted in your favor as much as possible. Most US jurisdictions.

    See an attorney.

Re: Re: Intellectual Property
by Cmdr_Tofu (Scribe) on Nov 03, 2002 at 08:20 UTC
    I agree with seattlejohn, the contract does not go far enough (in your favor). If this is contract work, I would want the specific technologies you were working on specified in the contract and say that the company would only get discoveries you make based in those technologies.

    You also have to be careful about future developments. It is not unknown for people to find themselves unable to do technical work for years after they do a certain job because of restrictions in the kind of work they can do after working with "private technology". Ensure that if you cannot find a job because you are not allowed to go and work for a competitor after you leave your employment with company X that they will continue to pay you your salary or release you from the terms of the contract.

    Good luck and please don't get your career ruined by signing an overgeneral contract.

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